I'm often asked to scan and archive complete issues of Monkee Business Fanzine. That's a tall order, but I have highlighted pieces from MBF in the past. For now, here are twelve pages from the September 1986 issue, covering the latest Monkees news during the mania of the 20th Anniversary Tour, along with a report from the 1986 Philadelphia convention. Maggie McManus - thank you!
MTV played a pivotal role in the rebirth of The Monkees in 1986, just in time for the group's 20th Anniversary. On February 23 of that year, MTV aired a weekend marathon of The Monkees television series. The reaction was overwhelming and it helped to create a second wave of Monkeemania just as the group was set to reunite. After the initial success of the "Pleasant Valley Sunday" marathon in February, MTV started to air the series twice a day, seven days a week. By April, the show was being screened three times a day.
Throughout this period, MTV also produced a series of weekday segments called "I Was a Teenage Monkee." The clips lasted about two minutes each and featured interviews with Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork, Jim Frawley, Tommy Boyce, Bob Rafelson, Monte Landis, and more. After Micky and Peter acted as guest VJs on May 3 and 4, 1986, a one-hour special aired (hosted by original VJ Alan Hunter) that collected the previous segments.
Former Mosquitos frontman Vance Brescia, who wrote The Monkees' 1986 Top 20 comeback hit "That Was Then, This Is Now," joined Micky and Peter onstage in the performance of the song during all three of the shows last week in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York. Micky shared vocal duties with Vance, who still records and performs. On his website, Vance talks about how The Monkees got a hold of his song in the '80s:
"Micky Dolenz asked me about this recently - how it was that my song ended up getting to them. I told him that it was just luck. He said, 'You know, luck is where preparation and opportunity meet.'"
"It is true. It wasn't as if I just woke up one day and wrote a song. I had been on the road since I was sixteen, seventeen working hard, playing five or six nights a week when nobody else was playing originals. It was all cover bands where I was - and basically starving. So we did put in our time sleeping seven guys in one hotel room. Any of you young bands would know the drill about that. So finally it paid off. I had a group back then called The Mosquitos and Arista Records was semi-interested in us and then I guess ultimately they passed, but they liked one of the songs on my EP called 'That Was Then, This Is Now.' In fact it was Clive Davis who heard it, and they picked it to be the Monkees comeback single."
Here's footage of Vance's guest appearance at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, New Jersey on August 27:
Trina Dow was Micky's second wife and can be seen here with Davy and Peter during the 20th Anniversary Reunion Tour.